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Thursday, 22 June, 2000, 07:45 GMT 08:45 UK
Final challenge for France
De Boer & Trezeguet
Heads we win: de Boer beats Trezeguet to the ball
Edgar Davids has thrown out a challenge to world champions France: "Let's meet in the final of Euro 2000 - then we can really see who is stronger."

The flamboyant Dutchman reckons Holland received a psychological boost by beating France for the first time in 19 years in a thrilling match which ended 3-2..

Goals from Patrick Kluivert and Boudewijn Zenden and Frank de Boer gave Holland the triumph which secured top spot in Group D and a quarter-final against Yugoslavia in Rotterdam.

"It was very important for us to stay in Holland," said Davids, whose performance against France won him the man-of-the-match award.

"We have lots of fans here and the support is a big factor. It also means we can stay in our apartments and that is great."


Davids dismissed notions that the Dutch victory was hollow because France played a second-string side, leaving out the likes of Zidane, Henry, Deschamps and Anelka.

"We had to work hard for the three points. They played very well and have fine players. It would be great to play them again in the final."

Patrick Kluivert
Patrick Kluivert celebrates his equaliser
Team captain de Boer said: "We are improving as a team and it's showing. Hopefully we'll get even better against Yugoslavia."

Holland last met Yugoslavia at the 1998 World Cup Finals, when the Dutch battled to win 2-1.


Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard was delighted with his side's improvement over three games in which they gained a maximum nine points.

"The French are always strong and are very dangerous up front, but we showed we can equal France and then do better than them - which we did in the second-half with greater courage and flair."

Roger Lemerre
Lemerre: hoping to meet Holland in the final
French coach Roger Lemerre, however, was equally delighted that his under-strength side had produced such a stiring performance.

France now face Spain in Bruges in the quarter-finals and Lemerre said: "It doesn't matter who it is - they are all good teams in the quarter-finals.

"We played well against Holland and it shows the reservoir of talent we have to choose from is of a very high quality. We hope to meet Holland again in the final."

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Stats for Holland

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See also:

21 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Dutch delighted to top group
21 Jun 00 | Photo Gallery
Holland v France in pictures
21 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Group D goes Dutch
21 Jun 00 | Euro2000
France v Holland clockwatch
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